Nauvoo-Colusa seeking extra funding from tax hike on April 4 ballot

Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 4:00 PM CDT
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NAUVOO, Ill. (WGEM) - When Nauvoo-area voters fill out their April 4 consolidated election ballots, they’ll decide yes or no for an increase on annual education tax rates.

The ballot states the current educational tax rate for Nauvoo-Colusa School District is 2.55%, and the hike would move it to 3.5%.

Superintendent Kent Young said the tax jump would generate an extra $593,000 for the district.

”We’ve been deficit spending and we don’t get a lot of money from the state,” Young said. “Right now Nauvoo is about 80% locally funded, and the last three years we’ve only got an increase in state funding of about $6,000.”

Young said COVID relief funds (ESSER funds) have helped, but aren’t sustainable.

He said a tax agreement between the Latter Day Saints used to provide the district with upwards of $200,000 over a five-year period, but that agreement comes to an end in 2023, where the district will receive approximately $40,000.

He said inflation is also tacking a financial toll on the school since the district isn’t receiving enough money to combat the problem.

”We’ve had the increase in minimum wage, we used to pay about $10 an hour and now we have to pay $15 an hour for non-certified [staff], our salary used to be for teachers used to be around $32,000 and now we have to meet that $40,000 minimum,” Young added.

All Hancock County voters will additionally vote yes or no to a 1% sales tax for all school facilities.

Last school year, Young said the district received $322,344 from the state. In the 2019 fiscal year he said they received $315, 898.

Young mentioned there are several Health Life Safety projects that need to be completed within the next few years, but there could be some concern if the district doesn’t receive extra funding.

Related Stories: Hancock County schools to vote over next two weeks on 1% sales tax

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